MES students adopt a sea turtle

Roy Vanburen and Lillie Cassell hold the adoption certificate from the Sea Turtle Conservancy for Coco, a 215 pound male loggerhead. MES third and fourth grade students collected quarters to pay the “adoption fee.” Photo courtesy of Debora Johnson

Third and fourth graders from Marlinton Elementary School collected quarters for four weeks to raise money to adopt a sea turtle.

Every time a quarter was added to the jar, the student stapled a paper sea turtle to the bulletin board at McClintic Library.

At the end of the four-week collection time, the students had $59.

They sent the money to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, and adopted a 215 pound male loggerhead turtle named Coco.

Coco was rescued nine miles offshore in Florida Bay. X-rays revealed that Coco had a severe intestinal impaction and pneumonia. He was treated at an animal hospital, where he received IV nutrition, antibiotics and a healthy diet of fish and squid.

It is rare to track an adult male sea turtle as they do not return to land.

A radio transmitter was fitted to his shell, and Coco was released into the Atlantic Ocean.

When a turtle rises to the top of the water, the transmitter sends a signal that is processed to the Internet.

Each student learned how to locate Coco online and track him on his travels through the ocean.

The transmitter usually sends signals for up to two years.

Submitted by Debora Johnson, Children’s Librarian at McClintic Library

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